Wheeling, WV — On Wednesday night, the Wheeling University men’s basketball team (10-19, 8-14) earned their second all-time win inside WesBanco Arena by defeating Glenville State 78-72. The win propelled them to the Mountain East Conference (MEC) quarterfinals for the second consecutive season. He’s hosting a rematch with rival West Liberty on Friday night with a scheduled tip at 6 p.m. inside WesBanco Arena.
In their first-round game, the Cardinals got off to a good start, limiting one of the best teams in the MEC to just nine field goals in the first half. They led 42-24 as the teams headed to the locker rooms as the Cardinals clicked on all cylinders. However, when the Pioneers emerged from the locker room, they launched their attack and fought back to make it a four-point game with two minutes remaining. However, Wheeling sealed the deal when they knocked down the game’s last four free throws to come away with a 78-72 first-round victory. It was the team’s first-ever victory in the WesBanco arena after defeating Alderson Broaddus at the Alma Grace McDonough Center last season.
Leading the way on both sides of the ball for the Cardinals was a graduate student Jordan Reid, who finished the night with a team-best 28 points. Not only was he the team’s top scorer, but he was also tasked with guarding Glenville’s top scorer. After going 25+ over Wheeling in each of the first two meetings of the year, Reid was able to hold it to 18 points as the Cardinals allowed just nine Pioneer field goals in the first half.
Behind him, Jarett Haines put up a solid 22-point performance as he led the team with four assists and shot 8-14 from the floor. Haines and Reid have led the Wheeling team this season and have both averaged over 20 points per game lately. The Cardinals’ double-digit markers were supplemented with John Korte and Jay Gentry, who each scored 11 in the game. The Cardinals had no one to finish with a double-double, but the defensive effort was led by Korte’s eight rebound under the net.
The Cardinals advanced to the MEC Quarterfinal Round for the second straight season following a similar path to the one they had a year ago. The Cardinals picked up an upset victory in the first round of the tournament, then faced Concord, the No. 1 seed in MEC South. This season, they are once again set to face the tournament’s No.1 seed, but this time it’s with long-time rivals West Liberty. The two teams are meeting for the third time this season as Wheeling seeks revenge after losing its first two games of the season to the Hilltoppers.
The Cardinals and Hilltoppers are meeting for the 63rd time in team history and the seventh time in playoff history. In first 62 meetings, Wheeling is 21-41 against the Hilltoppers and last beat West Liberty in the playoffs in 2017. The Cardinals are averaging 83 points per game against West Liberty and have played much better against the Hilltoppers at home. West Liberty have won each of the first two meetings between the two teams, including their last outing.
The last meeting between the two teams was on February 26, in a game that ended with West Liberty 109-94. Jay Gentry led the way with 24 points in that game while Jordan Reid and Jarett Haines each scored 20 points in the game. Wheeling’s offense was much better than their previous game in the most recent game and is looking to match the intensity of West Liberty.